Yearbook of the United Nations, 2006. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 5, Europe and the Mediterranean
The restoration of peace and stability in the post conflict countries in the Europe and Mediterranean region advanced in 2006, as efforts to re-establish their institutions and social and economic infrastructure continued. However, a number of issues remained unresolved. Led by the European Union (EU), the international community continued to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina to move towards full integration into Europe through the EU Stabilization and Association Process. The country adopted an EU integration strategy, its first long-term strategic document leading towards full EU membership, and made progress in meeting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Partnership for Peace requirements, which culminated in an invitation for Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the Partnership. In October, domestic authorities successfully carried out the country's first self-organized general elections since the war ended in 1995. The Security Council, in a November resolution, authorized Member States, acting through or in cooperation with the EU, to establish, for a further 12 months, a multinational stabilization force (the European Union Force) and welcomed the NATO decision to continue its presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) continued to assist in the building of a modern, multi-ethnic society. The overall security situation in the province remained stable, allowing UNMIK to continue to monitor progress towards the fulfillment of the benchmarks set out in the 2004 Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan and the 2001 Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self-Government, including transferring authority to Kosovo's domestic institutions. The year began with several leadership changes following the January death of Kosovo's President, Ibrahim Rugova, and with the opening of negotiations to determine the final status of the province. Increased efforts by the Provisional Institutions to reach out to minority communities, including Kosovo Serb communities with close ties to Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro), met with challenges throughout the year as relations with Belgrade deteriorated. However, significant progress towards European integration was made by the new leadership of Kosovo in August when its Government adopted a European Partnership Action Plan. In November, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the future status of Kosovo announced that the presentation of the Settlement Proposal would be delayed until the end of January 2007 to allow for the holding of parliamentary elections in Serbia. In a historic referendum in May, Montenegro voted to separate from Serbia. In June, the General Assembly welcomed Montenegro to membership in the United Nations. Renewed efforts were made to end the stalemate in the Georgian Abkhaz peace process. During the year, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Georgia convened the first session of the resumed Coordination Council of the Georgian and Abkhaz sides, which had not met since 2001. Senior officials of the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General (France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States) continued to encourage dialogue on the basis of the 2001 Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competencies between Tbilisi (the Georgian Government) and Sukhumi (the Abkhaz leadership). A difficult and complex situation prevailed on the ground, however, with Abkhaz authorities claiming that Georgian forces had violated the 1994 Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces (Moscow Agreement), and Georgia demanding the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces from the conflict zone. Compliance with the Moscow Agreement and with Security Council resolutions 858(1993) and 937(1994) was monitored by the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and by a collective peacekeeping force of the Commonwealth of Independent States. No progress was made towards settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the occupied Nagorny Karabakh region in Azerbaijan. In December, Nagorny Karabakh held an independence referendum, the results of which were rejected by Azerbaijan, several neighbouring States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and its status remained uncertain at year's end. Similarly, a 17 September independence referendum in the Transnistrian region of Moldova was rejected by Moldova and by the newly-formed Organization for Democracy and Economic Development–Guam, which consisted of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. In the Mediterranean, the situation in Cyprus remained unresolved. During an overview mission to the country in July by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders signed a set of principles and a decision on cooperation and began to meet regularly regarding issues affecting the day-to-day life of the Cypriot people. Despite such progress, serious tensions continued to exist between the two Cypriot communities. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus continued to cooperate with its UN partners and the two communities to facilitate projects of benefit to Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the buffer zone and to advance towards the goal of restoring normal conditions and humanitarian functions in Cyprus.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2006. v. 60; Vol. 60
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